[?] 2:54 PM CT USA, Last 100 hits

I know you don't care about this:

The India hit is interesting, and I tink the hits from South America were [NEXT BLOG] hits, but the one I can't figure out is the one from "saix.net".

Is that you, JIBBS? How does one dial up from a ship? This would be a good time to make that "this is where I am right now" post.

[*] Rooster: Contraception (3b - final)

Now, rather than go on about statistics on this subject (which could fill another post), I'm going to tell you about someone in particular. Prior to his being saved, he was unfit for marriage. He had a tradionally-romantic view of man-woman relationships, which is to say he thought that sex was fine outside of marriage if two people "loved each other" (whatever he meant by that) and they both wanted to. He also thought that men had no business talking about abortion because they could never be pregnant, and if a woman wanted to escape poverty or the burden of motherhood, she was the person driving the train and she should be able to pick the stops she made.

One of the turning points in his life was when he met another fellow (we'll call him "Rufus") who had been having sex with his girlfriend (we'll call here "Jane"), and she got pregnant. It was somewhat of a scandal because they were both allegedly Catholic in a nearly-100% Catholic community, and they planned to get married. The problem was that Jane (she was a girl – about 19 or 20) had significant health issues, and her doctor advised her that carrying the baby full term would kill her.

The pro-choicers out there can already see this one coming, I am sure. Rather than dazzle you with a weepy sketch of what happened, I'll tell you plainly that Jane carried the baby full term, delivered, and then died in childbirth. Rufus adopted the child, quit school, and became this child's full-time father.

Because the subject of our story claimed he did not have an opinion about abortion, he had no idea what to make of this event. He didn't understand why Jane would give up her life for a child that would never know her; he didn't understand why Rufus would give up the rest of his life for this child rather than let it (he did think of the child as an "it", though I use that word here to shield the sex of the child) be adopted by a couple who was "ready" (whatever that means) to have children but couldn't, and he didn't understand why Jane didn't just have an abortion – because there doesn't seem to be any upside here. Having the baby meant that the baby would have no mother, Rufus would have no wife, and both Rufus and the child would live in incredibly difficult circumstances for the rest of their lives.

In his moral calculus, this marriage-unfit fellow did not believe that one child's life was worth all of that. He thought he knew what love was, but when it looked him in the eye, he didn't see it.

Because let's get something straight here: There is no greater love than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. Jane here laid down her life for this child: that is love. Rufus here laid down his life – to a lesser extent, but in a very real way – for this child. And that's for one child only.

Now let's jump ahead in this story in the life of this marriage-unfit fellow. If we jump ahead, he does some pretty dastardly things – things unfit for the text here – and finds himself at the edge of his philosophy, but he is changed. His understanding of things changes. The reason he changes can be read here, since this post is already 2 posts long and you have to get back to whatever you were doing, but the short hand is that Jesus Christ changes his life even though this person deserved to die.

In that change, he becomes marriageable. He becomes someone worth having as a husband and a father. And, by God's grace, he finds a wife – a woman far and away better than he deserves. He loves her, and he's ready to lay down his life for her – not just theoretically, but actively, every day, to love her the way that Christ loves the church.

Now here's the actual point of this story: together, they decide to "wait" to have children. Now, why do they wait? Well, they both are working 60 hours a week; they are both unsatisfied with their economic state (which is not to say status – they weren't looking to impress anyone); they want to provide a "good life" (as if that's about money) for their prospective children. So they practice birth control for about 2 or 3 years before they are "ready" to have some kids.

Being 100% serious about this story, I have to be honest and say that there is a wide gap between choosing to use contraceptive measures to avoid pregnancy and choosing to terminate an existing pregnancy. They would never have chosen to terminate a pregnancy if it had happened. The problem is that the reason for doing either one is exactly the same: the underlying motive for contraception is the view that a child's life will be a burden rather than the view that a child's life will be a blessing from God.

You can dress it up any way you want to – you can call it "stewardship of God's resources" if you have that kind of theology, or you can call it "seeking God's time for parenthood" if you have that kind of theology, or you can call it whatever you want. I'm sure this view is going to get some push-back. The problem is that there are things this guy and his wife put ahead of the value of human life – not of some theory of human life, but ahead of one actual human life, and being open to God's blessing of their marriage bed with children.

Today, when that guy looks at the two kids he now has, and he sees them sleeping in their beds, or they come running to greet him when he comes home from work, or he play Legos with the boy or has a tea party with the girl, he cannot imagine that he deserves to be a father – their father. He knows what the blessings of parenthood are, and he is grateful for those blessings.

And he and his wife still practice contraception, because he is still more afraid of the burden of another child on the home, the marriage, the finances, and frankly himself because he's 40 now and doesn't have the same energy to be a father of a Newborn, and doesn't want to send his third child to college when he's 60 (or older). He still places the financial & emotional risks ahead of a new human life.

I know this because I am this guy. So take the rest of this blog-series in the context that I might be able to preach a good sermon, but I do not have the grace to walk it out.

Have a good weekend. Don't let the blogosphere be your "church" – be together with Gods people in God's house this weekend. It will do you good.


[#] Rooster: Contraception (3a)

So, when one of your blog readers steals your thunder in the meta, what do you do for the last part of a series? Pastor Brad Williams – who is still a Hurricane Katrina survivor, btw – essentially guest-blogged yesterday when he said this:

I am thankful for this post, and I hope that it leads to a fruitful discussion. I agree with you in much of what you have said here, but I want to point something out that I think is indicative of the mindset about children.

Technically speaking, children are material blessings, I suppose. (Honestly, I do not like this language at all.) But I believe that you and I and the rest who read this blog are far more than simple material blessings to our parents. In fact, I believe that if I asked folks to list their 'material blessings', few would think to include their children in that list.

However, this is what I really believe is going on here in the United States and other places. When many people are choosing not to have children, they are basically weighing one material benefit over another. It goes something like this:

We can have:

1. New Car.
2. Bigger House.
3. More leisure time.
4. Less headache.
5. More date nights.
6. Nicer clothing.

Or We can have:

1. Another child.

Since we are using economic metaphors, I will ask this simple question: What are you worth? What value can we place on a human being?

Plainly speaking, Christians ought to be having more children. It costs more time, money, and freedom to do so, but we do not live for ourselves; we live for others. We pour out our sweat, tears, prayers, hopes, and faith on our children. They grow our faith and understanding, and they are beautiful, wonderful, precious gifts. I am trying to convince my wife that we should have five of them, and after that, adopt.

I am not attempting to 'lay down a law' about how many children someone should have. I am attempting to point out that we are purposefully limiting the number of children that we have for purely selfish, economic reasons.

What Brad's talking about here is a radical and subtle paradigm shift in Christian life that, as far as I can tell, the whole world has bought into. And for most of the world, the paradigm is this: life in poverty is worse than death. When we accepted that paradigm, I have no idea – I think it happened in my lifetime.

The real, tangible problem with this paradigm is not that the 4-ish billion people whom sociologists identify as non-Christian believe it. Very frankly, they have no reason not to believe it – it's part of the Romans 1 & 2 problem with all of mankind. For those of you not familiar with the diagnosis Romans 1 & 2 makes about mankind, you can read about it here.

The problem with this paradigm, from a practical standpoint, is that the 2-ish billion people whom sociologists identify as Christians believe this in spite of what the Bible teaches. Let's be clear that this group includes the Roman Catholic church – but I am not saying that Rome teaches this stupid, evil, materialistic view of life. I am also not saying that any Protestant or Evangelical church teaches this formally. What I am saying is this: in spite of the active right to life movement in sociologically-Christian circles, the view that children are a burden rather than a blessing is pandemic.

And because I know you readers appreciate smaller bites, this post is continued ...


[$] Greetings Adrian Warner Readers!

Just wanted to say "Hello" before you scrolled down.

Be seeing you.

[$] Free Blog Advice

Listen -- I may not be the hottest ticket in blogging, but I'm in the top 10% of all bloggers in the TTLB ecosystem no matter how you slice it, so I must be doing something right, right?

So I have this small morsel of advice for anyone striving to write a blog that's not in the dregs of the blogosphere. It's not much advice, and it's not really theopneustos if you see what I'm saying, but it is a valuable piece of advice:

If you ever feel motivated to write a blog entry with the subject "This is where I am Right Now" (or words to that effect), stop what you are doing and get a job or something, OK? Get a hobby.

To put this into perspective, as I post this entry, technorati says there are roughly 18.5 million active blogs with a network of over 1.5 billion links in the blogosphere. Think about that -- 1.5 billion links. Now, of all those blogs and all those links, how many of those people do you know personally? If we count all the people who would recognize your from church and all the people who would recognize you as a person they go to school/work with, I'll bet we could say that about 1,000 people "know" you. Now if all of them have an active blog, that means that 0.005% of all bloggers know who you are -- about one in every 20,000 bloggers. That's not very many.

And of that number, I'll bet not 5 of them thought to themselves today, "Hmmm. I wonder where [your nAme] is right now?" So the information in a blog post with the subject "This is where I am Right Now" (or words to that effect) is a post that nobody really wants to read.

We don't care.

That's not cruel or calloused: that's life. We don't care where you are right now -- unless you're hurt and you're in need of help and somehow the only way you can call for help is via T1 line because the phone is broke or underwater or something. And if you're needing help, "This is where I am Right Now" (or words to that effect) is an ineffective title. "I'M BLEEDING" or "THE WATER'S GETTING HIGHER" or "911! I NEED HELP RIGHT NOW!" is a lot more likely to draw attention than "This is where I am Right Now" (or words to that effect).

Get yourself together. Just because you can blog doesn't mean you must blog. Maybe you just don't have anything to say -- and that's fine. It's not a sin to be silent -- in fact, it is a virtue to be silent when you ought to be silent (cf. Prov 12:23).

Try it out. It might work for you.

[%] Phil Johnson already linked to this

just in case you missed it, this is the punchline of Doug Wilson's latest on relevence:
And the pretentiousness of these folks -- the movie will be The Attack of the Clone Rebels -- prevents them from seeing that what they mostly do, all day long, is conform, adapt, copy, mimic, and submit -- all in the name of striking a blow for individuality and the rebel soul. Somebody needs to tell these people that the rebel soul is three hundred years old and now qualifies as a geezer. Just imagine this for a thought experiment, one that will illustrate all the principles involved -- walk up to a young lady with her eyebrow pierced and say, "Ooo! What an outrageous idea! However did you think of it?"

[*] Rooster: contraception (2)

Paul's exhortation in 1Cor 7 goes like this (ESV):
    1 ∂ Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman." 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. 8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.
So Paul's view is that marriage is for the godly satisfaction of sexual needs, right? The husband should satisfy the wife's needs, and the wife her husband's needs. In that, it seems that he doesn't mention child-bearing at all in the matter of married sexuality. Or does he? See: if you stop in verse 9 and say, "well, Paul's vision for human sexuality is about the satisfaction of passion in order to avoid sin," you have about 80% of the message - because he goes on:
    10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?
Certainly the main focus of this passage is not sex - but v. 14 says something that cannot be overlooked: it takes for granted that, in being married, and in having sex, you will have children. (and all you jonesin' for a tussle over what this verse implies about Baptism - you wait your turn)

One of the things that I think is missing in the view Rooster has espoused so far - and let's be honest, that view is also the view I practice, so in making this argument I think I am speaking to myself first of all and the rest of you are welcome to listen in - is something that the Bible implies over and over again: children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. That is, of course, a direct citation from Ps 127, but that's the attitude that the Bible demonstrates in all kinds of places. Sarah feels oppressed and jealous when Hagar has Abraham's child and she has none; Rachael and Leah are at odds because one has born Isaac's children and the other has none; when Jacob meets up with Esau after years of exile, all of the children are said to the "the children whom God has graciously given"; prior to the birth of Samuel the Prophet, his mother Hannah was seen as afflicted because she could not bear children, and Elkanah's other wife (Penninah) had many children and was seen as blessed.

And in that, when we reduce the pre-fall command of God to Adam and Eve to one for them only which is thereafter mirrored in the NT by the Great Commission (one is being fruitful physically, the other, by the Holy Spirit, is being fruitful spiritually), we have accepted a very decent theological truth but have overlooked all the steps that it takes to get there. It seems to me that in order to say something like this (which Rooster has done), we accept only the metaphorical use of the language and somehow overlook that literal use of the language upon which the precept is founded.

Let me be clear about something: Rooster (and the rest of my brain - the parts that do things other than blog, which I admit is a very small portion of my brain, but there it is) is not saying, "you should not have a large family." He is not decrying sexual fruitfulness. What he is saying is that you have some liberty inside marriage - you can choose to have many children, or only a few. In that, the couple who chooses to have 6 kids is just as upstanding as the couple who chooses to have 2 kids, and as the couple who chooses to have no kids.

The problem with this view, I think, is that it overlooks the view of Scripture that children are not just a choice, but a blessing. Scripture's view of marriage - and thus, of sexuality - is that it ought to be fruitful and bring forth children. Part of the blessing of the sexual union is the blessing of children. The strong advocate of the other side might then ask, "cent, mushbrain, if that's the case then you are saying that choosing to have fewer children is to choose to refuse God's blessing. Isn't that a little legalistic? Does that ignore that, in the end, God is the one who chooses to create life?"

My answer to the first question is this: it is not any more legalistic than recognizing than refusing baptism or refusing to take the Lord's supper is also refusing to take God's blessing. I'm not talking about Grace and soteriology here, so don't get all bent out of shape: I'm talking about being blessed materially, immediately by participating in the way God runs things. It is a blessing to be initiated into God's family through baptism - because that's the only way to be initiated into God's visible family, right? To become part of that body is a material blessing because of the physical and spiritual benefits of that body to the believer, and vice versa.

The same can be said for the Lord's supper: it is a blessing to participate in the remembrance because it calls us to judge ourselves and count the cost of our salvation - to make real for us the sacrifice of Christ (not to re-present it, but to bring it literally to the front of the church in the act of presenting the bread and the cup) and in that to make real for us the salvation we receive through Him. Remembering the sacrifice gives us spiritual nurturing which them makes us more fruitful for Him.

So in that same way, when we marry, and we allow sex to be only about the satiation of passion, we have missed out on the rest of the blessing. It is easy to say that we have the liberty to have no children (and as I write this, who is not thinking about Monte Python's Meaning of Life in which the slogan "every sperm is sacred" leads to a large, filthy family in poverty, but the Protestant who affirms that he will use birth control whenever he wants seems to be a passionless man who is neglecting his wife). The question, really, is why we would choose such a thing? Why choose to let God's blessing - the material blessing, not the high-brow theoretical blessing which cannot be seen until we have run the race and fought the fight and receive the crown - slip through our fingers?

And with that, in the next (and final) installment on this topic, we shall find out what a great hypocrite centuri0n really is.


[%] Adrian Warnock

Here's a sad but true fact: I am linked on Adrian Warnock's blog.

Now, why is that "sad but true"? Because that link has generated all of ONE hit to my blog! ONE HIT! I would have missed it if I hadn't been combing out the site meter this evening.

Phil Johnson is much more productive, uh, I mean, I truly value Phil's friendship and I am grateful for the kind attention he gives this blog. It makes me think a Warnie isn't all it's cracked up to be. I crave it less now, anyway.

UPDATED 9/29: Apparently, somebody gave Adrian a word of knowledge about my analysis of what turning up on his front page did to my hits, and he then pleaded with his readers to redeem his status as senior statesman in the blogospere by clicking through, essentially to tell me "Adrian Warnock sent me".

Well, it worked (somewhat). Since his post, we have 9 hits to the blog from his site. So you have something to compare that to, PyroManiac produced almost 40 in the same period of time.

And in the final account, 9 hits is 9 hits. JIBBS didn't produce 9 hits yesterday, and he's my sidekick.

[?] Ban Armstrong? *SURVEY RESULTS*

click image to see larger view

Overall, 60% of our faithful readers voted against banning Armstrong, which is amazing becuase only 16% voted against surveys on the blog. I have no statistical analysis of what the margin of error was, so we'll just go with it.

More to the point, 76% of you voted against continuing to argue with Armstrong, so we will let him fume over on his blog (or here in the comments, since he is not banned) over the fact that 3/4th of you would rather discuss the FSM or the media's inability to collect fact when their cellphones go down than read about why Dave Armstrong is wrong.

Suits me fine. There are reasons I like you all so well, and this is one of them.

No more surveys for a while, though: we have a lot of topics to finish up and the blog gets boring when the same post sits at the top of the list for a week.

[$] All we got was a little rain

For those who are reviewing the RSS feed for comments on this blog, you'll find that Dave Armstrong is, apparently, offering an olive branch.

I'm in a bit of a muddle here. Click here to take a survey to help me unmuddle myself.

After reading up on SurveyMonkey, it does cookie you, but only to stop you from taking the survey twice. It doesn't collect personal information. Please take this survey as it will determine the content of the blog for the foreseeable future.

The survey closes Wednesday, 9/28. Thanks for your help.

UPDATE 9/25: The early voting has "don't ban" out in front of "ban". Let's see what Monday brings ...

UPDATE 9/26: Apparently, my wager to Armstrong regarding a Sonic gift card has created a furor amongst the anathemacious, and now the banners lead the non-banners. There is also a ridiculously-low voting sample at this point, so if you're reading you should vote. I will post the final tally on this matter after the voting closes on Wednesday at 5 PM.

UPDATE 9/27(6 AM): The overnight voting has left "no ban" out in front, but honestly only about 10% of the visitors to the site are voting. This isn't a repulic, readers: this is raw, mob-driven democracy. for the system to work all you have to do is click thru and place a single vote.

UPDATE 9/27 (3 PM): "NO BAN" is securing a comfy lead. Voting closes tomorrow.

UPDATE 9/28 (9 AM): "NO BAN" is extending its lead. Voting closes today at 5 PM ET.

UPDATE 9/28 (5 PM ET): The Survey is CLOSED. Thank You!

[*] The Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Monday political commentary has set off a rash of internet searches to determine the meaning of the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" noted in one of the photos, and it turns out it has its own church (of sorts). It also has a FAQ, which is something we Christian ought to be jealous of -- whoever you are and whatever denomination or religious splinter group you fall into, Christianity doesn't have a decent FAQ even though the short list (like, the top 25) of Frequently Asked Questions is easily discerned even in the first 15 minutes of entering into the conversation.

There are a lot of really enjoyable parts of FSM's FAQ, but my avorite is this:
4. Are you an atheist/heathen/etc.?

I don't have a problem with religion. What I have a problem with is religion posing as science. Teach creationism in school, fine, but DON'T teach it in a science classroom. Science = the study of repeatable, observable, natural phenomena. Accepting a supernatural explanation is a cop-out. It's faith, NOT science.

Religious nuts: please stop emailing me about that. No I can't "repeat" evolution for you, so stop asking. But if you doubt the science that allows us to guess the age of the earth, then please stop using your computer, cell phones, and TV. The same methods of science that brought you those are the same methods we use for these evil evolution theories. Science is NOT truth, it's the search for truth, fact.
Emph Added
It's a good thing all religions -- even satirical religions -- wind up at the same place, otherwise there'd be a whole lot more people rejecting religion for atheism.

[*] I think I just saw pigs fly

I just found this from the L.A. Times. AP followed up with this story.

What? News coverage of Katrina was filled with "scores of myths" regarding the conditions of evacuees and the availability of supplies? Great Caesar's Ghost! How can it be that the mainstream media was sucker-punched by lies? Again?
Journalists and officials who have reviewed the Katrina disaster blamed the inaccurate reporting in large measure on the breakdown of telephone service, which prevented dissemination of accurate reports to those most in need of the information. Race may have also played a factor.

The wild rumors filled the vacuum and seemed to gain credence with each retelling — that an infant's body had been found in a trash can, that sharks from Lake Pontchartrain were swimming through the business district, that hundreds of bodies had been stacked in the Superdome basement.
I wonder: prior to the wide-spread use of the telephone (say, prior to 1877), was the quality of reporting on natural disasters marred by the inability of reporters to verify facts? For example, are they suggesting that the best way to figure out if bodies are stacking up in the basement of the Superdome is to call down there and see if someobody will pick up the phone? Dude: where in the name of Perry White is a kid with a scratch pad and a pencil who will walk down a flight fo stairs when you need him? Who here believes that some reporter couldn't have made it into the Superdome if he was interested in covering the story when the fact is that the troops didn't get there to stop them for almost 3 days? Who is kidding whom here?

It seems to me that all the networks -- ALL of them -- were more interested in getting mileage out of the disaster than in reporting verified facts. In that, they proved themselves to be no better than any tabloid paper.

Congrats, guys! Russell Jandoli is officially doing fish-flops in his gave.

[#] Chuck Colson

No, I am not a fan of Chuck Colson. Sorry. He is grossly ecumenical, and seeks to reduce the Gospel to its lowest-common-denominator rather than to seek its highest earthly expression, and in that I think he is problematic as a conservative Christian representitive. I do not think he is a hypocrite or a shyster.

I am also not a great fan of his daily broadcast/e-mail "BreakPoint", which frequently substitutes hysteria for theology and political philosophy.

However, this one deserves to be read. The 15-year ministry of Mo Leverett and his wife to the poorest of the poor directly speaks against all the criticisms of the (political and religious) left wing talking heads.

I also recommend this link specifically about Mo Leverett's ministry.

Equip yourself. Luck favors the prepared, dahling.

[#] Rooster: Contraception (1)

Brian Mattson has a great post about the matter of the morality of contraception in his blog from a few days ago, and don't stop reading after you get through his initial comments about the Gen 38 – he answers a question put to him directly by an insightful reader about other arguments he might find compelling with excellent detail.

There is the question, however, if that's the end of the story – is that all there is to think about for married people seeking to live daily growing closer to the image of Christ. I think that Mattson makes an excellent point about there being no direct command about this in Scripture, and we are left to decide this issue inside the bounds of marriage and the bounds which Scripture provides.

The one issue Mattson does not treat in his comments is the matter of imago dei – a critical matter in understanding the foundation of how we treat other human beings. For example, it is clear in Gen 9 that the reason man ought not to murder man is that all men are in God's image. Moreover, we must consider the exhortations of Christ about marriage – underscoring the cleaving together of man and wife – and Paul's exhortation about marriage – that the wife should submit to the husband as the church submits to Christ (selflessly, sacrificially), and the husband is therefore tasked to love the wife (selflessly, sacrificially) as Christ loved the church.

In those precepts, the question seems to be "ought sex to be only for pleasure?" – but I think this is a reductive question. The matter is not merely "either procreation or pleasure" (because anyone can testify that most children are created in an act of pleasure, and God willing it is married pleasure), but does practicing sex in a manner inside marriage which intends to eliminate the procreative aspect objectify one's spouse and reduce the act to a selfish, rather than selfless, act?

This is a very complicated question because the answers that come forward at this point can very much sound like the answers the pro-abortion crowd uses for its moral calculus in talking about reproductive freedom -- and those answers are wrong. I'll leave you to think about this for the day and come back tomorrow with what I think is part of the answer for married couples seeking to do God's will in their sexual relationship.

[*] A dirty secret about Challies

He was never really de-linked. He's struck from the local blogroll, but he still winds up in the League of Reformed Bloggers.

However, it did get him to link to me in his daily post today, so it turns out all is well.

[*] Maybe the Crocodiles got them

There was certainly -- and is still undoubtedly -- massive devastation in New Orleans. No question.

What actually happened after they knew the storm was coming, however, may never actually be known. Why? Because of the kind of reporting that stories like this are debunking.

The media was part of a larger problem in NOLA -- political hysteria. I'm not going to read that story to you. You have to read it for yourself and then ask the question: why is this story and stories like it being buried by the main-stream media?

[$] Monday Political commentary

I am swamped this morning, so you'll have to take my word for it that this political commentary was provided to you to me by the Pros from Dover.

And I'm warning you: if you follow that link to the bottom of the post and click thru on the last link, I am not responsible for what happens to your previous meal or you ability to eat you next one. Nevermind that the sign next to that person was very badly "photoshopped" -- the rest is almost unspeakable.

[#] A positive book review?

What? Has cent gone mad? Posting a books review which does not tell you"wait for this one to go to the bargain table"?

Listen: I don’t want to get the reputation of being the Rex Reed of internet apologists (for so many reasons), so I thought I better get something up here that actually encourages you to buy a book that is good and edifying.

45150: A Family Guide to NarniaThe book in question is Christin Dichfield's A Family Guide to Narnia, and let's get the negatives out of the way first to avoid ending on a sour note. One of the shortcomings of this book is that it is a superficial survey of the biblical themes of Lewis' 7-part chronicles. I say "superficial" because it doesn't seek to demonstrate critically the impact that the allusions to Biblical theology have on the meaning of the story. In the best case, all this book does is demonstrate that those allusions exist. I would also point out that some of the allusions Ms. Ditchfield points out are strained -- and in that, I leave it to the reader to go ahead and exercise good judgment in using this book to discuss the Biblical themes and allusions that are listed.

However, this book offers a LOT more than can be overshadowed by its shortcomings. While it is only a survey, it is not intended to be a Ph.D. thesis on the theology of Lewis' fiction: it is meant to be a discussion guide for parents to use with this series to guide their children back to the Bible.

Let me say, btw, that as a parent, you should read books to your kids (if they are young ones) and with your kids (if they are older ones). Reading to them is extraordinary quality time, and you can see things about their cognitive development and personal interests that you could never see in any other activity. If you have never read to your kids before, this would be a great opportunity to start.

In that encouragement, this book equips you to be a better tour guide for Narnia -- because I am sure many people reading this blog (and I say this in all humility, honestly, because we get letters …) do not think themselves great readers and great Bible scholars and are intimidated away from talking about what they have read or about the Bible because they do not have a Ph.D. In that, some of you might avoid reading to your children or with them because you are afraid you will look stupid.

The first major feature of A Family Guide to Narnia is its accessibility. It is written by a grade-school teacher who loves these books and wants others to love them, too. There are no big words. And the second excellent feature of this book is the introductions to each book -- which generally run about 2-3 pages. If you read these intros and then Lewis' books, your experience will be enriched 5-fold for the first time reader, and perhaps more for the returning reader who is plunging the depths of these excellent works.

The last, important major feature of this book is the chapter-by-chapter outline of Biblical themes and allusions. I would not say that Ms. Ditchfield "got them all", but I would say that she got all of the critical ones -- the ones which bring us from this wonderful fiction back to God's word as Lewis intended. As a tool for opening up a spiritual dialog with your children, this book cannot be beat.

For those of you who take notice of such things, this review comes with a link to buying this book from CBD. I'm not ashamed to tell you that I make a few pennies from each book you buy using that link, but I would also be well-pleased if you went to your local Christian retailer and bought it there -- if they have it on the shelf.

BTW, I am also going to review all 7 books of the chronicles prior to the release of the movie this fall (which will only be about book 2). You should read them before you see the movie -- or even if you don't intend to see the movie. Good Stuff.

[$] Turns out it's the Japanese

I wake up this morning and come on-line to check Drudge, and I find a link to this story (sorry about the popups it triggers), which leads me to this web site, and finally this web site.

Let me just say that I'm glad somebody is taking this situation seriously. Since Mulder and Scully got out of this line of work, there hasn't been any real effort to maintain a body of information about stuff like this. you'd think the Government would have some interest in this stuff, but of course all they care about is the war in Iraq.

BTW, if the Yakuza is making Hurricanes come ashore wherever and whenever they want, why not destroy a city that "matters" like LA, NYC or DC? It seems to me that their goals would be met in a more substantial way by destroying a larger "player" in the national picture than New Orleans or Galveston.

Also BTW, I don't have the joke tags working yet, so you're going to have to muddle through this post on your own.

[?] Because Phil Requested them:

The survey summary. I can't believe that only 30 people participated.

1. And how did you find "...and his ministers a flame of fire" today?      
  Response Percent Response Total
Another blog's blog roll   44.80% 13
centuri0n's comments on another blog   3.40% 1
search engine   3.40% 1
You're bookmarked, dude   41.40% 12
"next blog" button   0% 0
Other (please specify)   6.90% 2
    Total Respondents 29
    (skipped this question) 1
2. How many blog entries did you read today?      
  Response Percent Response Total
Only the top entry   30% 9
More than one   53.30% 16
Other (please specify)   16.70% 5
    Total Respondents 30
    (skipped this question) 0
3. What time of day did you visit? (your local time)      
  Response Percent Response Total
Before 9 AM   10% 3
9 AM - Noon   30% 9
Noon - 1 PM   3.30% 1
1 PM - 5 PM   16.70% 5
5 PM - 7 PM   13.30% 4
After 7 PM   16.70% 5
When I should have been sleeping   10% 3
    Total Respondents 30
    (skipped this question) 0
4. And did you enjoy your visit?      
  Response Percent Response Total
I enjoyed it a lot   26.70% 8
I enjoyed it   56.70% 17
eh -- it's a blog. I was bored anyway.   13.30% 4
I did not enjoy it   3.30% 1
I hated it   0% 0
    Total Respondents 30
    (skipped this question) 0
5. Do you have a blog?      
  Response Percent Response Total
Yes   83.30% 25
No   16.70% 5
    Total Respondents 30
    (skipped this question) 0
6. What would it take for you to link to this blog?      
  Response Percent Response Total
I am already linked   46.20% 12
You would have to bribe me   23.10% 6
Better content   0% 0
Less Theology   0% 0
More Theology   3.80% 1
Less antics   0% 0
More Antics   0% 0
Other (please specify)   26.90% 7
    Total Respondents 26
    (skipped this question) 4
  1 You to link to mine  
  2 hell would have to freeze over  
  3 I'd have to read more...and I will  
  4 A Word from the Lord - and I'm cessationist. Ha! I'm considering it. Killing the music would help.  
  5 I don't have a blog yet  
  6 I'm considering it, but I've already got a couple in this genre. (Challies, Pyro). I still may.  
  7 a round tuit  
7. Anything you want to add? It would be cool if you told me where you were viewing the blog from.      
    Total Respondents 27
    (skipped this question) 3
To protect the unsuspecting, names, e-mails and web addys have been suppressed
  1 I apprecite your clarity even though I often disagree with what you are saying. I appreciate your charity and tone amidst heavy issues. [name] [user]@[addy].com http://[blog].com FWIW, I think you may be a little shortsighted in your analysis of Wilson's Homosexual comments.
  2 I have been scoping around the web try to find some ideas for my own blog, I found you via Pyro the blog king. I think that I will come back, I don't like to link someone before I have observed their sight for a little bit. I would hate to misguide one of
  3 I am viewing your blog from a secret location known only to the Holy Father and the President of the United States
  4 Anything to add? Sure, just add water? Okay, I'm in Ontario Canada. :-)
  5 California
  6 I'm viewing it from Dixie Headquarters.
  7 The graphical prowess stuns the mind!
  8 Thanks, and I'm in Northern California. [name] www.[web].net
  9 I am viewing your blog from beautiful Valencia California. [name]
  10 Ponca City, OK
  11 I am in Winnipeg Canada.
  12 Knock off the eye-brow thing. My wife thinks it's cute.
  13 Texas
  14 CENTURION! -[channel rat] Marietta, GA
  15 I enjoy it depending on what you have posted, but for the most part it's pretty sweet.
  16 We view from Southern California -- eastern end of L.A. County. Just a question (or, perhaps, an invitation): Will you be attending the 2006 Shepherds' Conference at Grace Community Church? We would love to see you there.
  17 Viewed from home. Originally found through CARM. Keep it up, you're one of the smarter guys I've ever "met" on the net.
  18 I'm viewing the blog from my 19" ViewSonic monitor. Tell you what. I will link you on my blogroll if you send me an email in the next 30 minutes acknowledging that you know who this is...[it was Challies -- no mercy on the cruel]
  19 Hello! I'm from IL, but schools in CA. I feel like I should have linked you long ago but never got around to it. Nice blog.
  20 I really enjoy your site, although I have not been able to comment. (My browser has some issue with the javascript comment button.) I also appreciate your insights in the comments of other blogs. I come from a pretty lax Evangelical church background and
  21 Viewing from Winston-Salem, NC.
  22 Cent... I enjoy your blog very much, and the way it makes me think about the issues you are presenting. Thanks. One thing I would recommend (and I know this is difficult in a theological blog such as yours) is to be a bit more brief in the discussions you are presenting, and then if you prefer to link to a longer discussion that would be good. But all in all - I appreciate your blog! Thanks
  23 Long time reader of your blog, and close friend of your sidekick, JIBBS. I am here on the Web--* http://[blogger].blogspot.com/ I am here on Earth--*http://maps.google.com/maps?oi=map&q=[map coords]
  24 You know where I am. You've mailed me stuff. I just want to know to what links you are willing to go to move up in the ecosystem. *joke*
  25 I'm viewing this blog from sunny Southern California. This is [Mrs. Tom Cruise] by the way. [personal banter supressed]
  26 I generally read this blog during my slow moments at work, and I work for the LCMS (which, if you are monitoring where people come from, will likely explain the hits you may get from lcms.org - in case you thought maybe I was part of PP's gaggle of follows or something). Work and home are in the St. Louis, Missouri area.
  27 This is cent taking his own survey.[narcissism not supressed]

[?] Phil's Gravatar

Look: all kidding aside, it takes comedy genius to do something like this.

That's the best way to leave things for the weekend. Worship in the house of the Lord this weekend with God's people.

[*] The Big Blow

I have raised the Cat-5 flag for this post because, well, you better board up the windows and evacuate before you start reading. It’s a long, hard blow, and the foolhardy ones who stay behind do so at their own peril.

I have also considered opening a blog and making Armstrong a "Team Member" to reduce the amount of confusion and link-jumping you poor readers have to endure, but designing a new TMP for a blog in order to interact with Armstrong is like buying a skybox in the Superdome for the 2005 season. You fill in the punchline.
centuri0n said: It’s an essay that, to this day, Armstrong overlooks. He does not address a single point made here,

I've addressed such points or similar ones times without number.

centuri0n said: and relies on a single quote from Hunter, out of context, to simply whistle in the dark past this issue.

I do not rely on one quote from Hunter, but upon widespread use of the term anti-Catholic among thousands of Protestant scholars. I've documented 55 of these. If I am using it as simply a synonym for "bigot" or "hateful person who wants to bodily harm Catholics," then so are they.
There are 5 examples on your last salvo, Armstrong, and it’s very strange that these are the 5 you would pick – because none of them actually say what you say below. Shall we review them? Gosh, if only the original sources were cited! But yes, that would be a good idea:
Mark Noll (evangelical historian): "Protestant anti-Romanism was a staple of the American theological world . . ."
I would suggest to you that "anti-Romanism" is a different word than "anti-Catholic". Saying they are synonyms is on-par with saying "anti-welfare" is a synonym with "racist".
David O. Moberg (evangelical sociologist): "the tensions have a continuing social, psychological, and ideological basis which must not be overlooked."
The question is not whether the "tensions" (and we can only assume that Moberg is here talking about the political oppression that Hunter is talking about; context of the statement would be helpful) have as one source the ideological differences between Catholic and Protestant: the question is whether the theology of Protestantism is itself rightly called "anti-Catholic". It is interesting to note that Moberg does not use the word.
Martin Marty (Protestant Church historian): ". . . the editor of the Protestant Home Missionary picked up the cry for the West, where was to be fought a great battle 'between truth and error, between law and anarchy -- between Christianity . . . and the combined forces of Infidelity and Popery.' "
That's an interesting quote from Dr. Marty, but I have another which actually uses the word we are worrying about here:
The May 17 Sightings ("Catholic Elections") commented on how the Vatican and American bishops in 1960 assured U.S. citizens that bishops' (fatefully futile) intrusion in Puerto Rican politics (declaring it sinful for any Catholic to vote for the pro-birth control PPD) would never find a counterpart here. That first intervention under an American flag reflected only the "practical and special condition of the island," they said. It can't happen here. But it did in 2004. Many flip-flopped. Had the old anti-Catholic Protestants been rightfully wary back when they warned about Catholic power in American politics?
Clearly, there are two premises to Dr. Marty's statement: (1) Protestantism does not equal anti-Catholicism, and (2) anti-Catholicism does equal political paranoia about Catholic models of authority. So when Dr. Marty implies that one periodical in one case demonstrates the equation of Catholicism and anarchy (that is: is demonstrates a political aversion to Catholicism, not merely a theological aversion), he is not at all saying that anti-Catholicism is synonymous with the confessional statements which denounce the Pope.
David Montgomery (Presbyterian pastor): ". . . definition is crucial here. By anti-catholic, I do not mean a rejection of Roman Catholic theological positions. By that definition everyone outside, (and not a few inside), the Roman communion would be deemed anti-catholic! . . . Theological disagreement need not involve suspicion or hostility.

"Some Evangelicals will choose to discuss the issues as they arise in the context of friendship and dialogue, while others will view the Catholic church as the enemy and will see the public renunciation of Roman dogma as an integral part of promoting the evangelical faith. It is this confrontational methodology which I see as the fourth characteristic of anti-Catholicism. Not, let me stress, because doctrine is unimportant, but because such a methodology attributes to Roman Catholicism a status it does not merit . . . "
The emphasis is mine – but what on earth is Armstrong using this citation for?! Pastor Montgomery is saying exactly the same thing I am!In what way does this quote even leave prospect for the idea Armstrong has proposed – that it is justified to call any assertion which rejects Catholicism as Christian "anti-Catholic"?

Let's be as clear as possible about something: Montgomery is a person who advocates that the label "Evangelical Catholic" is not an oxymoron – but he does so on the basis that the "Evangelical Catholic" affirms the following 4 doctrines: the supreme authority of Scripture (not co-equal with the Magisterium), missionary activity, the centrality of the cross, and the new birth (not baptismal regeneration). (Montgomery furnishes that distinction here) Also important to this discussion, for whatever it is worth, would be the other 3 characteristics Montgomery has listed to form the definition of "anti-Catholic" (from the same link): irrational hatred akin to racism, irrational fear of Catholic political motives, and defamation through invention of urban legends that claim moral disgraces on the part of the Catholic church.

Lastly, before we move on, it is critical to stare into the black hole of the ellipsis Armstrong propped up his citation of Montgomery with. The italic text, below, is what Armstrong bleeped out:
By anti-Catholic, I do not mean rejection of Roman Catholic theological positions. By that definition everyone outside (and not a few inside) the Roman communion would be deemed anti-Catholic! No, it is an undeniable feature of both Reformation and historical evangelical theology that sub-Biblical and extra-Biblical doctrines such as the Infallibility of the Papacy, Transubstantiation, and the decrees of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary must be rejected. All of the Reformers and major evangelical leaders have been utterly opposed theologically to Roman Catholicism in these areas, many of them saying (according to the spirit of their time) extremely harsh things about the Papacy in particular. Does that mean they were anti-Catholic? Not necessarily. Theological disagreement need not involve suspicion of hostility.
The entire tenor of the affirmation Montgomery makes here is changed by what Armstrong somehow overlooked.
centuri0n said: This topic has a particular interest for me because I have myself been branded, at various times over the last 5 years, an "anti-catholic".

You don't consider Catholicism a form of Christianity, so the title is quite apt.
I don’t consider Soviet Socialism a historical form of democracy, either, Armstrong, because even though elections are held they are meaningless. Would that make me an anti-Soviet?
centuri0n said: I have been told that the term originates in a work entitled Culture Wars by James Davison Hunter,

By whom? Certainly not I; I would never assert such a ridiculously false thing. The term was in common usage for many decades before Hunter was born,
[div style="snark: none; text-style: exposition;"] Back when Dave Armstrong was still a user in good standing at CARM, he contributed a word to the dialog there that has since become a common word in Catholic apologetic circles: anti-Catholic. I cannot give you a date for this incident because all records of Armstrong’s interaction on CARM were anathemaciously expunged when his posting privileges were taken away. I can tell you that it was prior to May 2004 because it was the conversation around the events that got Armstrong banned at CARM that lead me to buy Hunter’s book.

Now why did I select Hunter’s book? Is it a best-seller? No. I bought it because when I took umbrage at Armstrong’s use of the word, he directed me to Hunter’s work as the basis for his use of the word. When I read Hunter’s book [and you have to read the whole thing because a book has one thesis which is developed and expounded over the course of all the chapters. A book is not (usually) like a blog: a book is a coherent thesis; a blog is periodic and (to be charitable) episodic], I was shocked: it appeared to me that Armstrong had misused Hunter’s words and his meaning to suit the purpose of his own arguments. Thus. I wrote the very brief essay you say here at the blog in order to curtail the use of the word. [/div]

Now the new readers of the blog are thinking, "cent, how can we trust your version of these events? How do we know you are not, like a pig in an Orwell novel, revising history?" That’s an interesting question. Here is my basis for substantiating this version of the events. Part of the fall-out of Armstrong’s banishment from CARM was the attempts I made to apologize to him was the courtesy I asked of him to simply not mention me, and I would not mention him.

Let’s be clear that the reason the events stand out in my mind was that I violated that courtesy – I mentioned Armstrong by implication in the original draft of that essay on Hunter’s book. For the sake of reducing the number of debates we are having here, I’ll confess to being the one who didn’t "keep his word" who also made the following request to Diane S at CARM in an e-mail dated 5/27/04:
Diane -- you're getting a copy of this message. Please edit my posts from "The proclaimer of this interesting term told me that he got the term from a work entitled ..." to "I have been told that this term originates in a work entitled ...".

Please edit "There was one somewhat well-known Catholic apologist who routinely tossed that term around here at CARM until he was called on it and lost his temper; there are now at least 4 major Catholic apologists who are using that term to ..." to say "There are at least 4 major Catholic apologists who are using that term to ..."

Please edit "The word entered the dialog here at CARM when a now-gone advocate came here and started slapping it on anyone who wanted to call him on his lousy theological dissertations without pretending that he was an academically-sound source of information..." to "The word entered the dialog at CARM about 2 years ago, and it has now come into common use among Catholics here ..."

and if Mr. Armstrong can find any other offensive references by me to him on CARM, I offer him the opportunity to provide them and I will offer edits to them.

I have posted an apology today for calling Catholics "mindless" -- because Mr. Armstrong is right in that it ultimately is an inflammatory statement. You may circulate this thread of e-mails as you see fit to those who will get a good laugh out of them.

Thank you, Jiminy Cricket, for being such a faithful conscience.
Now let's think about this for a second: if the statement which offended the agreement was actually an offense to the agreement, then it had to be Armstrong who was the one who introduced the term, yes?

But let's not take my word for it.
Date:Wed, 26 May 2004 18:21:20 -0400
To:[Diane S] [centuri0n]
From: "Dave Armstrong"
Subject: Keeping one's word

Dear Frank and Diane,

I thought the agreement I made with you (Frank) was that I would stop critiquing you on my blog and you would stop doing the same to me? I quickly and gladly agreed. But now you turn around and discuss me in veiled terms, thinking you are pulling a fast one simply because you don't mention my actual name? Anyone who followed the earlier discussion knows exactly who is being discussed
[Emph added]
The full text of that e-mail can be found here. So please do not accept my word for the events. Please use Armstrong's response back in '04 to decide if he was the one who provided me with that information, and please compare his original response to his response this week, and draw your own conclusions.
centuri0n said: and that Hunter’s work outlines a particular brand of hatred on the part of Protestants against Catholics which is unsubstantiated and irrational.

Sure, but that has no bearing on how I am using the term (which has nothing to do with hatred, etc.).
Let's see: Armstrong was the one who started the use of "anti-Catholic" at CARM about 3 years ago, Armstrong cited Hunter's work as the source of his use of that term, but Hunter's usage has no bearing on Armstrong's usage? Let the reader decide.
centuri0n said: Notice that Hunter defines it in an environment of mutual disregard: it is not a matter of the poor victimized Catholics being treated badly by the damned insolent or ignorant (or both) Protestants: it is a matter of a foundational dispute between the two. The dispute is inherently theological,

Exactly; therefore it is perfectly proper to use the term with sole reference to its theological components, not its wider range of meaning, which includes violence, hatred, bigotry, discrimination, disenfranchisement, etc. How can it not be so, if indeed theology is "inherent" to the word in question?
Half of answering that question lies in allowing the sentence to be completed before interjecting editorial remarks. Cutting off a reply – whether in person by talking over the other person, or in a text conversation like this – is, in the best case, ill-conceived.
centuri0n said: And in that, Hunter describes the tension to spill over into political and social conflict:

See, again; the very fact that you acknowledge an initial tension that can "spill over" into "political and social conflict" shows that there was already the theological tension; thus the term can be properly applied to such conflicts antecedent to their potential "spilling over" into something even more heinous, and socially, as well as theologically and ecumenically destructive.
What we "see again" is a failure to grasp the point of what is being said – in part, or entirely, because the critic fails to consider the entire argument including all the evidence presented by Hunter himself. If Armstrong would simply glance at the part he has omitted, he would find that his "see again" would be untenable: "even after the age of religious wars had formally come to an end, the political tensions between these religious and cultural traditions continued to effect the cultural fabric of Western life. Prejudice, discrimination, and even physical violence were commonplace". Hunter's enumeration of the tensions subsequent to the theological disagreement equal what he then calls "anti-catholic" in American society. Hunter is expressly saying that anti-Catholicism is a political and/or sociological event, not merely a dismissal of the orthodoxy of a theological position. While Armstrong might personally like to "apply" the term "to such conflicts antecedent to their potential 'spilling over'" is original and interesting: it is something that Hunter avoids with circumspect caution. Doing what Armstrong does here is like calling the late republic in Rome "Imperial Rome" because the conflicts antecedent to the rise of the Caesars were present in the late Republic. It doesn't follow.

And let's keep something in mind: this revision of his position is Armstrong's new way of justifying using this term in spite of its disrepute. He won't consider this, but you, the reader, should: if I use the term "anti-semitic" to describe someone who does not agree with American foreign policy toward Israel, am I invoking a morally-charged term to denigrate without argument, or am I simply saying, "They are opposed to support of the Jewish state in the same way they might be opposed to the support of the Cuban state on ideological grounds; they are not racists or bigots"? There may be a third choice, but again: induceat lector – let the reader decide.
centuri0n said: So the phenomenon Hunter is describing here is not a matter of one-sided insular Protestant bigotry: it is a matter of mutual disregard which, after a century of overt war, turned to the quiet warfare of personal relationships.

Absolutely. As I have stated many times, often the term is used to describe such phenomena, which also includes anti-Protestantism: which I have repeatedly condemned also. But it is not confined to social and political troubles.
The problem, of course, is that on pp. 35-36 of his book, Hunter (a sociologist) refuses to call the events that caused the political outcomes by this name. Hunter! Armstrong's source!
centuri0n said: It is in this context that Hunter uses the term "anti-Catholicism".

The term was already in use. It didn't have to be defined by the context of his book because it was already known, for heaven's sake.
Yes – but it was the source Armstrong cited – and in every other source where the term is used, it denotes a political agenda to obstruct the advance of Catholicism through fear-mongering and myth-making. He cannot find a source which uses this word to mean merely "Protestant" or even "argumentative Protestant".
centuri0n said: There is no doubt that Hunter either coins or simply applies the term "Anti-Catholicism" in his work,

You seriously consider the possibility that Hunter "coined" the term? Wow, this is getting surreal, even for you. You are that ignorant about the term, yet you want to lecture me that I supposedly don't know anything about it, and use it as a dishonest cover for calling people bigots?
If this statement by Armstrong requires some kind of exegesis, someone please e-mail me. I said "coins or simply applies" – but, since Armstrong can apply an ellipsis anywhere he wants to make any text say whatever he requires, there's not reason to try to correct him here.
centuri0n said: but the question is: what is Hunter describing? Is he describing the inherently-Protestant theological view that Catholics are heretics,

In part yes, as I documented: ". . . it took expression primarily as a religious hostility - as a quarrel over religious doctrine, practice, and authority. . ." (p. 71; Hunter's italics)

centuri0n said: or is he describing the political and social upheaval that resulted when the dispute over theology turned, in popular hands, into a reason to discriminate against a man for an honest education or the right to gain employment for a wage?

Yes, he does that, too. So what? I've always acknowledged that. Just because you are blinded to that fact, for some odd reason, doesn't mean I don't know about it.
It is again interesting to note that Armstrong grabs the citation from pg 71 but ignores the citation which defines Hunter's use of the word from pp. 35-36. I am sure it was an honest mistake.
centuri0n said: Clearly, Hunter thinks the dispute over theology is the root cause –

Exactly; so again, that's why it is perfectly proper to use the term in a strictly theological way.

centuri0n said: but it is a two-sided cause.

Often it is, but not necessarily, as I have stressed till I am blue in the face. For some reason, anti-Catholics hate to be called that. It's like liberal disdain of the word "liberal," I guess. Yet they have no qualms about using the terms "anti-Protestant," "anti-evangelical," "anti-Calvinist" (I've documented many examples of James White and Eric Svendsen using those terms). That's fine, so let me ask you, Turk: why do you not condemn them for being (as you claim) equally arbitrary and irrational, and hate-mongering, for using the equivalent terms the other way around?
It's funny, but you cannot find someone using "anti-evangelical" or "anti-Calvinist" who ever means it to say, "Catholics who are seeking to repress the civil rights of Protestants". And a quick Google of AOMin.org finds that the only person Dr. White has ever called "anti-Protestant" is … Dr. Art Sippo, the Jack Chick of Catholic apologetics!

So if you want to stick up for Dr. Sippo's black-tongued abuse of anyone who questions him or his beliefs, you are welcome to do so. Just do it someplace else.
But of course, you have denied that Protestants ever use such language. You being unacquainted with the facts of a matter under dispute is, sadly, no unusual thing for you. You don't even know that your own heroes and champions are using these terms. I do, because I got sick and tired of these charges you reiterate and thus sought to show that those who make the charge are often guilty of gross hypocrisy. I am not, because I have used the term consistently in one fashion, not inconsistently, as White and Svendsen do: using their own "anti-" terminology but always accusing Catholics of something unsavory when they merely do the same thing.
Poor Armstrong! Such an abused person! I weep for him!
centuri0n said: If he were writing a history of southern Europe, one has to wonder how he would have positioned the circumstances of Protestants given his brief description already cited.

Obviously not. His specialty is American religion, in any event.
Is it obvious that Hunter would not say that anti-Protestant bias fueled political violence against Protestants in southern Europe? It is clear that in his presentation of the European events which fueled New-World prejudices, the Catholics were not any better in their treatment of Protestants. You simply skipped that part of my citation of Hunter, but again: the ellipsis is mightier than the fact.
centuri0n said: He does call the editorial policies of the Chicago Tribune and the substance of the "great school wars" "anti-Catholicism", but does he qualify all Protestant theology as anti-Catholic?

Of course not; anyone with half a brain cell knows that. Note the remote insinuation that somehow I am doing this: one of your more ludicrous and absolutely asinine charges about me. For heaven's sake, I used to be a Protestant who was not an anti-Catholic, so how in the world could I turn around and deny that such a thing exists? I would have to lie about my own past history.
Protestant theology (as opposed to Evangelical theology, which is a distinction Montgomery makes if you have actually read his article that you cited) rejects the errors of Catholicism as wholly-incompatible with the Bible. If you never made that confession – and that's the confession you call "anti-Catholic" – then don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. You weren't much of a Protestant even by Montgomery's definition.
You have to lob one of your outrageous lies about me when (as recently) you claimed that I classify all Protestants as "anti-Catholic." Yet you want so badly to dialogue with me. Why in the world would I want to do so with a person who has continually lied about my positions; even bald facts, and refuses to be corrected on any of them?
I want to dialog with Armstrong? Let's check my blog, shall we? It seems that Armstrong's original complaint was that I am intransigent and refuse to dialog with him out of raw hatred. Since when do I want to dialog with Armstrong? Anyone reading the comments in his blog ought to see plainly that I am ignoring him there to converse with the far-more-reasonable contributors to his meta.

I want to dialog with Armstrong about as much as I want to camp on the beach in Galveston tonight. Can I say it any more clearly? If it was not clear when I started this blog entry, let me make it crystal clear right now that the only reason for this blog entry is to underscore the continued flawed methodology of Dave Armstrong for the sake of warning others against dealing with him.
I'm only here now, hoping that some rational, fair-minded Christian soul who reads your blog will see this and correct and rebuke you in love, before you make a fool of yourself to an even greater extent than you already have. Lying about others is a sin. Even if I am all these things that you and Phil Johnson and Steve Hays and Svendsen and White and all my other critics think of me, it's still a sin to lie and bear false witness, if it is proven that such has taken place. This is just one instance among many. But you refuse to deal with them. Instead it's all mockery and further misrepresentation.
I am sure the fair-minded will enjoy your create use of other people's writings and your obviously high degree of self-awareness. I welcome the fair-minded to read this blog entry and use it as the basis for coming back here for a return visit.
centuri0n said: Even as Hunter develops his thesis that Protestant biases inhabited the political system, he makes this clear concession:

"At a more profound level, however, biblical theism gave Protestants, Catholics, and Jews many of the common ideals of public life."

Amen! Am I to take this as some small degree of ecumenism on your part? Praise God.

centuri0n said: It is the acceptance of the Bible as the unitive heritage of men who fear God that resolves their differences. That hardly sounds like a Catholic perspective: it sounds significantly Protestant.

It's Catholic, too, of course. We rejoice that we share the biblical heritage in common.
Do you want to cite the Catechism (or perhaps Canon Law) on that statement, or will you amend it before I can tell you that the CCC says explicitly that the Word is useful to believers only (cf. P79)?
centuri0n said: The doctrine of sola Scriptura – that Scripture alone has the authority to correct all other forms of authority, and that it alone in the normative standard – is not Catholic but Protestant, and it is this ideal of Scripture conforming the minds of men to which Hunter ascribes the basis and the ground of whatever resolution has occurred over time between the parties.

No. He merely referred to "biblical theism" and included Jews in the equation also. Obviously, Jews don't believe in sola Scriptura, either; it is strictly a Protestant thing. We have this in common (the Bible). We don't have sola Scriptura in common.
Yes, that is my point, Armstrong. The application of sola Scriptura is that men resolve their conflicts by conforming themselves to God's word, aka the Bible. That's what Hunter says happened: the Bible was the basis for a common resolution of grievances.
centuri0n said: Let’s keep that in mind the next time someone wants to throw out the term "anti-Catholic".

Yeah, let's. And let's also keep all this in mind when White or Svendsen hypocritically use terms like "anti-evangelical" or "anti-Reformed" or "anti-Calvinist." No one has addressed that phenomenon, to my knowledge, except yours truly.
And an effect address it has been, no doubt.
centuri0n said: I take a wholly-Protestant view of Catholic theology, but even I do no call for the disenfranchisement of Catholics.

Good for you! "Even" you don't do that, huh? What, have you been tempted to do so or something? Why even state such a silly thing? It's like the old thing about a man saying out of the blue, "I don't beat my wife."

centuri0n said: I don’t think you should go out and beat Catholics, nor rob them of their possessions, nor that you should slander them for things they have never done.

What progress! Frank Turk is not in favor of beating and robbing Catholics. Great. He does not, however, have any compunctions about lying repeatedly about one of them; namely, Dave Armstrong. That's one of the Ten Commandments, too, last time I checked. Yet you repeatedly slander me by attributing to me notions and beliefs that I do not now hold; nor have I ever held them. And don't ask me to list them, as that is what I have already done in the paper you chose to deliberately ignore (for very good reason).
Except as we have seen you do, above.

Look: I'd love to spend the rest of the weekend going over Armstrong's verbal gymnastics here, but I have already spent most of Friday on him and I'd like to go and do something useful instead. If anyone wants me to finish this excruciating exercise, I'll do it next week. If we don't get any votes to finish Armstrong's comments up, I'm going to find something more enjoyable to talk about – like a detailed description of pulling ticks off of stray domestic animals.